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return from Bocas

February 3rd, 2012

No matter where I go, I’m always happy as a clam when I return to Tamarindo. It is simply beautiful here. The water is warm, the sun is shining, and the people are nice. The sand bar out in front is set up perfectly these days, we just need a little bit of swell to come our way… (and a little bit of swell is finally starting to sneak in here and there)

Tamarindo Rivermouth sand bar, in front of Witch's Rock Surf Camp

Being completely fed up with flatness, last week I had packed the boards in the back of my truck and drove to Bocas del Toro, Panama so I could get some bigger waves. I made the trip with Roberto and Phil. We surfed a ton, drank some rum, and relaxed along the Caribbean, recharging for a few days and recovering from the intense high season this year. I love the clear water and punchy reef breaks found in the Bocas area, they keep me coming back again and again. It was nice to disconnect briefly. Roberto is normal, Phil is crazy.

boat taxi ride from Bocas del Toro to mainland Panama

On this trip to Bocas I also brought some boxes of rigging, lifelines, assorted electrical and plumbing parts, new lines and blocks, random cable, so on and so forth, all of which I had bought last year when I was fixing up Choptank (30ft sailboat sitting in the marina there). My torn MCL set me back a bit, but that was March – October 2010. Now I’m back in the water and ready to take the boat on a surfari from Bocas through the Panama Canal and up the Panamanian coast, final destination being Tamarindo. There are two sets of islands I’m looking to explore, the San Blas islands and the islands off of the NW Pacific coast of Panama.

Through my last blog post, my friend Mike Gerhard connected me with Max Mogren. Max sailed from Oregon to the Tamarindo area (as far south as Colombia) a couple of years ago. He stayed in the area and did some writing for the Pothole magazine. We hit it off on the phone, so Max will be flying down the end of this month and will captain the boat on this exploration trip. The next few months are going to be exciting, I can barely wait.

Caribbean surf exploration surf trip aboard Choptank

I finally received my residency card today, I’m holding this thing in my hand and tripping out. Its like holding unobtanium. I never thought I’d see the day. I guess that means I’ve worn them down to a point where they gave up and made me a Guanacastecan!

Costa Rica said I could stay!

I remember when I first moved to Costa Rica, we were living in Playa Coco, we had bought this shitty little boat and I was captaining boat trips to Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point. A few months after starting up the business and making quite a few surf trips, I came home one evening from guiding a surf tour and was greeted with an angry lynch mob in my backyard. Boat captains, fishermen, and the local police screaming that I was an illegal immigrant and taking jobs away from the other boat captains in town. And they were right, because I didn’t have my cedula. Well, it did take me 11 years, and unbelievably I was somehow able to build and grow Witch’s Rock Surf Camp all while living in Costa Rica on my tourist visa. But now I’m like, legit. Next life goal: get my drivers license.

Happy Zephyr Walsh turned 4 years old on Wednesday. Tomorrow we’re having a birthday party on the beach. I am really looking forward to it. Happy is such an awesome little boy. He amazes me with his independence. He loves to sing. He loves to collect pieces of tile and make mosaic designs on the ground. He has a heart of gold. Happy Zephyr Walsh, your father is so proud of you. I love you big boy! Happy Birthday!!

Happy brithday Happy Zephyr Walsh!

Well, I guess thats about it. Life in Costa Rica is good these days. It was a little crazy opening up Volcano Brewing, pretty much the last six months of 2011 were hard as could be, especially right up through November and December. Now, as we complete January 2012, things are humming along. We really do have a great crew here. I’m working with RA on some surfboard production stuff. I’m working with my brother in law Happy on some surf shop stuff (finally pushing to get our shop online this year). I’m reading as many books on beer and brewing facilities that I can. This whole microbrewery thing is fucking rad.

Waves might be picking up, I might take the panga out to the outer reefs south of town and get an evening glass off with Carlos Sosa…